cropped-butterfly-2.pngI’m sorry you found my blog.

HA!  What a funny thing to say on a blog!!  But seriously, if you landed here, you either know me, or know someone that has cancer.  That’s why I’m sorry!

Cancer.

I hate that word.

I remember sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s listening to the Dr. tell me that while it was not likely I would get Ocular Melanoma like my Mom, 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their life.  Since all of my Grandparents and my Mom have died of some type of cancer, I knew my day would come.  I just never thought my diagnosis would be the day after my 41st birthday and as a mother of a 10, 7 and 6 year old.

Fast forward 4 years (October 2019) and the cancer has returned in other bones.  So here we are, ready to fight again…and looking to be on some sort of treatment for the rest of my life.

This blog is my journey as I fight to leave cancer behind and move on in my life.

I should probably back up and introduce myself . . . my name is Jennifer.  I’m a Christ follower, married to an amazing man (who happens to be a chef turned Co-CEO of a restaurant), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which originally spread to my sternum, but has now spread to quite a few other bones as well.

I know it can be confusing when you stumble upon a new blog, so let me help you get started.

  • I have a blog to keep track of my thoughts and to let friends and family know what’s going on.
  • You can get to know our family or read my personal testimony here.
  • As I’ve been going through different procedures, I’ve written down what it was like.  You can find a list of those over in the side bar (or down at the bottom if you are on a mobile device).
  • Click here to receive an email when I publish new posts.
  • And finally, if you noticed above that I’m married to a chef and think that must be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER, click here and browse through my blog about what it’s really like to be married to a chef.  (I love blogging.  Can you tell?)

Jennifer

Here’s what’s going on with me right now . . .

Surgery

Surgery went well today and we were home by about 10:45 am. I slept most of the day. It’s a little uncomfortable but I’ve only needed to take one pain pill which is actually two less than I took yesterday.

The Days are Flying By….not really

Time seems to be moving very slow right now. I’m not sure why.

The girls are back home and I’m glad we are all back together as a family. ❤️

I went in to see the oncologist before my covid test today because my pain is not under control anymore. I’m going to keep going with the long-acting morphine, but I’m going to switch to Dilaudid for breakthrough pain during the day. I’m hoping that will help.

After he poked around on my back and ribs, the pain is from the T9 area where I had that cement put in and it is radiating around my left side for some reason. My entire back hurts to touch or lean against something. It’s just all very tender.

I was in a lot of pain after he poked around on my back and ribs. As I got up from the table and walked a few feet back to my chair, I was out of breath. That was the first time I realized I was out of breath from pain. I just was thinking I was out of breath from being out of shape. Tom says he has noticed that and known it for a while.

Around 2:30 today I took Dilaudid and it took the edge off my pain. I noticed it didn’t hurt quite as much when I got out of bed. I have to figure out the exact dosage and how often I want to take it. It of course has the side effect of constipation just like all the rest!

He also recommended calling the orthopedic doctor and seeing if they could do a steroid shot near the T9 area to see if that would help. We’re not sure if we’re dealing with bone pain or nerve pain.

We have to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning for my port placement. It’ll be nice to have that done so early in the morning so I can have the rest of the day to relax.

Chemo officially starts on Monday at 2 pm. If my port isn’t clogged, it should only take a few hours from what I remember. Someone asked me the other day how long I will be taking this chemo for. The answer is, for as long as it works. Then I will switch to another one. I will do that for the rest of my life until we are out of options, or we decided that my quality of life is too horrible and we decide to stop. I’m spending some time reading back through my blog so I can remember what it was like during this specific chemo drug.

Time Away and CT Results

For our 25th anniversary, we had planned to go on a cruise or another vacation and have the kids spend a few weeks down in Southern California with Tom’s parents. Because of my health and COVID, that trip didn’t happen….but I think something better did.

The girls have been down in CA for almost 2 weeks. That means we have had the house to ourselves (and clean) for 2 weeks!!!!

We’ve had so much time to talk.

We’ve done some projects together.

Tom has worked.

I have rested and done some things around the house.

read more…

MRI Results

The MRI shows a fairly large tumor in L3 (vertebrae in my lower back). The only other scan we could compare it to was one in October and it has grown since then. We don’t know how recent the growth is. There are a bunch of smaller tumors in other vertebraes as well, but the larger one is most likely what is causing the pain. For now we are going to wait on the CT scan on the 23rd to give more clarity.

read more…

Verses and Songs of Encouragement When You are Anxious

In my last post, I asked for people to send me verses of encouragement as I was really struggling with anxiety with everything going on this week. I was so blessed and encouraged by the verses you sent. Thank you so much! My MRI was quick and easy yesterday and the rest of the day I felt at peace and was able to relax.

I’ve compiled all of them below and I hope they will be an encouragement to someone else as well.

Some of the scriptures reminded me of songs, so I’ve included those next to the verses.

read more…

Not Worrying About the Week……

Below was my prayer journal entry this morning. I decided to share it instead of writing it all out again. There are a few things I’m taking out……..out of respect for my family. 🙂

Lord, this is a hard week coming up. I had trouble getting to sleep last night because I was thinking about everything coming up. I also kept waking up last night thinking about all of it.

I have an MRI on my lower back on Tuesday and then we find out the results on Thursday. That will tell us if the orthopedic surgeon can help with the pain, if I need physical therapy or if it’s just the cancer causing the pain and I need to work with Dr. Leung on it.

read more…

Changing plans…

Between COVID and the pain I’m having in my back, we decided to change our plans for the weekend. We were looking forward to getting away and staying at a hotel in Wenatchee. But it looks like that area isn’t a good place to visit right now with me being at high risk, plus I can’t do anything for more than 20 minutes without severe pain.

read more…

tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

verses of encouragement
How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
neuropathy after chemo

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation